The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: 'Harry's Meat and Gatsby's Fete'
Eden takes the roaring '20s theme a little too literally
There’s a certain amount of frenemy-style flogging that’s to be expected when you’re a newcomer to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and sometimes it’s just your typical gasp-whisper hazing ritual in action. In the case of Eden Sassoon, though, the girl’s just allowing herself to get played and manages to make an awkward scene at not one, but two fancy soirees.
Not that her concerns about Kim Richards’ welfare aren’t sincere and all, but GIRL. There’s a time and a place for such sobering conversations, and Lisa Rinna’s backyard barbecue ain’t it. Neither is Kyle Richards’ Great Gatsby shindig, for that matter. That’s a good way to get your name cut from the RSVP list and moved the tips of everyone’s lashing tongues. Tsk tsk.
We’ve got the meats
Rinna might not be the hostess with the absolute mostest this time — Kyle’s laying claim to that with her big bash — but her authentic, Pinterest-worthy backyard barbecue is nothing to shake a stick at. Not only is her hubby Harry Hamlin a bona fide grillmaster, but he even knows how to bake a homemade pie — provided Lorena can hunt down the necessary components, since Lisa doesn’t have a clue where anything is in her own kitchen.
Lisa’s proud her party will be a cut above Beverly Hills’ barbecues past — there’s nary a caterer or near-nude male model in sight. Everyone’s smartly dressed for her shindig, and the booze and conversations are flowing just fine… until Eden decides it’s the opportune occasion to kick off her episode-long whimpering session about Kim not warming up to her at game night.
Dorit lends her a cautious ear but doesn’t like the idea of participating in sneak-talk after the “no panties” incident with Erika Girardi. She advises her to speak to Kyle about her concerns for Kim, and Eden agrees she’ll find the right time and place to do so. Unfortunately, her concept of appropriate avenues for broaching such a topic is way off because not only does she interrupt a positive conversation about Kim between Kyle and Eileen, but she does so while the entire group of otherwise merry women are gathered around in a chat circle. Womp wompppp.
Kyle, naturally, doesn’t take kindly to the suggestion that her sister was rude to Eden, and she’s especially miffed when Eden can’t point to a specific example of her supposed ‘tude but rather relies on her own interpretation of Kim’s energy that evening. This isn’t a one-time moment of situational awkwardness in her eyes — “I feel like it’s Groundhog Day with Eden Sassoon,” she says in her solo interview about the convo. “Every flippin’ time I see this woman.”
So, Kyle immediately blows off Eden while everyone else unsubtly removes themselves from the uncomfortable situation that was, two minutes prior, a fun and spunky little lunch. Kyle doesn’t think Kim did anything to deserve being talked about right now based on Eden’s account, and she simply refuses to be put in defense mode when she has nothing to apologize for on her sister’s behalf. Lola the dog has the final word on the matter, though, when she literally drops some doo on the site. Eden tries to hug it out after Lola’s yard patty lightens the mood, but Kyle’s so irritated that she calls her out for prompting “the awkward hug.” Ouch.
Harry Hamlin ultimately saves the day with his sharp wit about Lola kicking in her two cents on the conversation, and he carves up a delicious “meat-avaganza” for the girls to savor — although Erika seems like she’d happily chew on him, if Lisa weren’t his wife. Yum!
NEXT: Erika shows some dramatic chops …
An auspicious audition
Erika’s established herself as a deadpan diva of sorts, so perhaps it’s not too surprising that she’s actually got some potential on the screen scene. Eileen’s gotten her an audition for The Young and the Restless and runs lines with her for a screen test. While the sample dialogue is pretty dull, Erika handles herself pretty well during her reading. Her mantra from the stage, she explains, is: “Enter boldly. If you f— up, keep going. Smile… and pray.” Wise words, those.
Even the casting director Sheila has to give her credit for holding her own during the taping session, and while the butterflies catch up to Erika between takes, she’s probably* done enough to give the writers who’ll watch this something to work with.
*This was taped before she actually made her Young and the Restless debut in December, as a fashionable real estate agent who makes fast pals with Eileen’s own character Ashley Abbott, but now we can know why she landed the guest role.
The roaring ’20s
For Kyle’s evening extravaganza, she’s chosen The Great Gatsby as a party theme because she thinks the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic was really just all about booze and partying and fun times. Hey, no one ever said she was a literary expert here. She does get one thing right — the opulence and flapper gear were on-point in those days, so the costume game at this party is a sight to behold for sure. Most of the gals opt for zany wigs and form-fitting, shiny gowns, and their fellas all spring for some snappy old-school gear, complete with rented classic cars and canes. Three cheers for theme commitment here, although Mauricio does kind of look like he could pass for Mr. Peanut if only he had a monocle in place. Next time.
En route to the party on their swanky party bus, Kyle fills Dorit in on what happened after she “dashed” from the barbecue, explaining that Eden made it awkward with her accusations about Kim. That’s when Dorit fills her in that Kyle’s name was originally brought up in the conversation, too, with Eden accusing her of being an enabler for Kim’s alcohol and substance abuse issues. Even Mauricio has something to say about that… but he wants to drop the gossip and live it up while they’re all still young-ish.
Things are going great for a while — the broken heaters and PK’s strange brand of compliments notwithstanding. Everyone’s particularly obsessed with Erika’s glam “gangster moll” costumery and Rinna’s “bronze goddess” gown, and even Lisa Vanderpump decides to take a pause on her much-needed vacation time with Ken Todd to make a grand entrance. Plus, they’ve got some celeb eye candy in the house by way of American Horror Story star Cheyenne Jackson and his handsome beau Jason. Cheers to that!
But whaddya know. Eden spots Kyle and Kim gabbing it up at a table by themselves and decides to break up their casual conversation about wanting to shine some spotlights on the ocean and get super serious out of nowhere.
Which is worse: when she’s accusing one of them of being nasty or when she’s cloyingly complimentary to the point that her words are almost physically sticky with fake sugar coating? Hard to say. But this… it’s not good.
She gets on her knees — not a metaphor — and tells the ladies that she thinks they remind her so much of herself and her late sister Kat. Kat passed away because she wasn’t able to get help in time, so Eden thinks it’s her job to make sure Kyle is providing the right kind of support system to Kim. All Kyle and Kim really want right now is to enjoy this party she’s put so much time and effort into, but Eden’s not getting that message, no matter how plainly they spell it out. Kim basically tells her to shove it and that she wants to have some space from Eden, and Eden feels dejected because she thinks she’s doing the right thing here and that she’s an expert on both alcoholism and sisterliness.
Again, Eden might have a word worth listening to on this note, and yes, Kim’s clearly still got some issues to iron out regarding her life and wellness, but timing is everything, and Eden obviously needs a new watch.
Eventually, Kim makes her way over to Camille Grammer, and Camille tells her she thinks she’s in a great place and that she and Eden might make great friends one day — Kim’s eye-roll factor is on full tilt at the very suggestion — while Eden makes her way to the one person she hasn’t badmouthed the Richards sisters to yet: Lisa Vanderpump.
Annnnd it’s another swing and a miss, and this time, it’s strike three. Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards are the bestest of besties by now, and Lisa doesn’t suffer smack-talk about her girl. She basically tells her (1) that she doesn’t think Kyle’s an enabler, (2) that she likes Eden but let’s not push it, and (3) she better watch herself where Kyle’s concerned… or as she puts it, “We started off on the right foot… But my other foot will kick you in the ass if you come after my girl Kyle.” Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.
Eden might be drawing the short stick here, since Lisa Rinna herself has used the word “enabler” to describe Kyle before, but the difference between the two gabbers is that while Lisa Rinna’s over there doing the Charleston and braving the porta-potty to enjoy the occasion, Eden’s too preoccupied with running her mouth to have a good time. Kyle’s prerogative tonight was to live it up old school, and long drawn-out therapy sessions aren’t the way to do that, case closed.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe